Minutes of Walford Parish Annual Council Meeting
Held at Bishopswood Village Hall
Thursday 16 May 2019 at 7.30pm
Frank Myers (outgoing Chairman), Councillors: Joanne Akers, Karen Chinn, Simeon Cole, Ruth Dolman, Eric Drummond, Heather Evans, Richard Jackson, Elizabeth Jordan, Ian Matthews, Sian Newbert, Bob Puzey, Guy Smith and Monica van Lienden
In attendance: Richard Abolins (Clerk), Yolande Watson (Ward Councillor) and approximately 35 members of the public.
- Before the business of the meeting began the Clerk witnessed the councillors signing their declarations of acceptance of office.
- The Chairman welcomed everyone to the Annual Council Meeting and congratulated new councillors on their election and returning councillors on their re-election,
- The Chairman proposed and the Council RESOLVED that item 6.1 be brought forward so that councillors would have some idea of who to vote as Chairman. Each councillor gave a brief introduction of themselves.
- There were two nominations for Chairman – Councillors Joanne Akers and Monica van Lienden. A secret ballot was held and Councillor van Lienden was elected.
- Councillor van Lienden signed the declaration of acceptance of office and the Clerk received it. The outgoing Chairman handed over the position of Chairman to Councillor van Lienden.
- The declarations of acceptance of office from councillors were received.
- There were two nominations for Vice-Chairman – Councillors Joanne Akers and Ian Matthews. A secret ballot was held and Councillor Matthews was elected.
The Chairman asked that items 9-11 on the agenda were moved forward as this would be a more logical order. It was RESOLVED to do so.
- General Power of Competence – The Clerk explained that the Council had achieved the necessary criteria to adopt the General Power of Competence. It was RESOLVED to adopt the General Power of Competence.
- Apologies – there were none.
- Declaration of interests – Councillor Chinn declared her interest in item 14.6 as Treasurer of the PCC of Walford. Councillor Puzey declared his interest in item 6.5 owing to living close to the launch site (it was questioned whether this constituted and interest) and in item 6.6 as a relative benefits from the scheme. The Clerk confirmed that no-one could be made to declare an interest, but what mattered was how the public viewed any potential conflicts. Councillor Chinn said that the seven principles of conduct in the Code of Conduct should be considered when making a decision.
- Standing Orders, Finance Regulations and Code of Conduct – updated versions of the standing orders and financial regulations will be presented at the next meeting. It was RESOLVED to adopt the current versions of these three documents.
- To appoint committees and working groups
- It was agreed that the terms of reference for the Finance Committee may need to be amended, but there was no other version to refer to. The terms of reference may be reviewed at any time by the Council. It was RESOLVED to adopt the terms of reference.
- In addition to the Chairman, Councillors Akers, Chinn, Cole, Dolman and Puzey were nominated to stand on the Finance Committee. It was RESOLVED to accept these appointments.
- The proposal to combine the Neighbourhood Development Plan and planning applications in one committee was rejected. It was RESOLVED to re-form the Neighbourhood Planning Committee.
- Terms of reference would be drafted and approved at the next meeting.
- In addition to the Chairman, Councillors Cole, Jackson, Matthews and Puzey together with non-councillors Dave Berry, Andrew De La Haye and Jon Stern were nominated to stand on the Neighbourhood Planning Committee. It was RESOLVED to accept these appointments.
- It was RESOLVED to establish a new Personnel Committee.
- It was RESOLVED to adopt the terms of reference.
- In addition to the Chairman, Councillors Akers, Chinn, Cole and Puzey were nominated to stand on the Personnel Committee. It was RESOLVED to accept these appointments.
- There was further discussion about whether living in the vicinity of the Canoe Launch precluded councillors from being members of the working group. The Clerk reiterated that the declaration of interests was the responsibility of individual councillors and they should consider how the public would view any potential conflict of interest.
- Councillors Cole, Jackson, Jordan, Matthews, Newbert and Smith were nominated to stand on the Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch working group. It was RESOLVED to accept these appointments.
- Councillor Chinn explained that three of the four members of the WCSS working group were no longer councillors and looked forward to representation on the group from councillors in the south of the parish.
- Councillors Akers, Chinn, Dolman and Puzey were nominated to stand on the Community Support Scheme working group. It was RESOLVED to accept these appointments.
- It was RESOLVED to maintain the meeting times for the Full Council as 7.30pm on a Wednesday.
- Councillor Cole was nominated as Lengthsman co-ordinator. It was RESOLVED to accept this appointment.
- Councillor Evans was nominated as Rights of Way Officer. It was RESOLVED to accept this appointment.
- Councillor Cole was nominated as HALC representative. It was RESOLVED to accept this appointment.
- Councillor Jackson was nominated as police representative. It was RESOLVED to accept this appointment.
- Councillor Smith was nominated as resilience co-ordinator. It was RESOLVED to accept this appointment.
- It was reported that ex-Councillor Myers had resigned as non-executive director of Riversea Holdings Limited. It was RESOLVED that the Council should make no appointment to this position.
- Of the existing signatories, two were no longer members of the Council. The remaining signatories were the Clerk and Councillors Chinn and Evans. The Chairman and Councillor Puzey were nominated to be added to the mandate. It was RESOLVED to continue with the bank account and to add the new signatories.
- Adoption of Minutes of previous meeting
Councillor Chinn pointed out that in item 14.3 the hourly rates corresponding to the pay scales had been taken from an incorrect document. The confidential minutes were amended accordingly. Subject to this alteration, it was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 27 March 2019 as a true and accurate record. They were signed by the Chairman.
- Walford Community Support Scheme
- The Community Support Co-ordinator presented her report – see attached.
- The Responsible Financial Officer reported that the year-end accounts were with the Internal Auditor and everything was on track to be signed at the next meeting. The management accounts would be taking a new format enabling us to look forward as much as backwards and would include notes explaining significant variances. The Financial Regulations would be updated for approval at the next meeting to bring them in line with recent policy changes.
- The bank reconciliations for March and April were checked with bank statements and accounts records by Councillor Dolman who then signed them (see attached).
- It was RESOLVED to approve the draft Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 March 2019.
- It was RESOLVED to approve the movements on reserve accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019.
- During the circulation of documents to councillors prior to the meeting, the draft Income and Expenditure account for April had been omitted in error. It will be circulated after the meeting.
- It was RESOLVED to approve the proposed payment schedule (attached)
- It was RESOLVED to ratify the regular payment schedule (attached)
- It was RESOLVED to approve the purchase of a filing cabinet for the Clerk, costing up to £150.
- It was confirmed that the next meeting of the Finance Committee will be on Wednesday 26 June 2019 at 6.30pm in Walford Village Hall.
- In light of the rejection of the proposed Planning Committee, it was RESOLVED to consider a policy for planning applications at the next meeting.
- It was RESOLVED that the clerk should contact HALC to get some dates for councillor training.
- Highways / Rights of Way
- There had been no progress on the process for re-tendering would be started. In the meantime, the existing contract would operate.
- Kerne Bridge Canoe Launch
- It was RESOLVED to re-instate the safety barriers around the picnic area.
- It was RESOLVED to set up a website link for parking permits for residents
- Phoenix Meadow: – a land agent is currently in negotiation on the Council’s behalf with the landowner over access to the meadow across Council land at the Canoe Launch site. Councillors were reassured that no decision is being made and full consideration will be given to any recommendations from the agent when they are given.
Since two hours had elapsed since the start of the meeting, it was RESOLVED to continue.
- Public Session
- Report from the Ward Councillor: – Yolande Watson introduced herself to the meeting and being her first meeting, her report was short. Over the next month, she will be out and about in the Parish, e.g. revisiting the different parts of the ward and gathering information. She intends to: –
- meet the Clerk of the Parish Council to learn about Parish procedure and how best to share information,
- listen to the Lead of the Local Neighbourhood Development Plan (once elected),
- engage in conversations with those she meets within the Parish and
- follow up outstanding projects that were being dealt with by her predecessor.
- A resident asked that the planning application at Water’s Edge be reconsidered because more objections had been received since the last meeting. This will be taken into consideration if the planning authority take it to a planning meeting.
A resident thanked the former councillors and chairman for their work over the last year
A resident pointed out that when the neighbourhood development plan was initiated similar discussions over declarations of interest arose as now with the Canoe Launch. It was agreed at the time that councillors could be part of the working group but would need to declare specific interests if they arose.
- Items for next meeting agenda (No discussion)
- Approval of year end accounts and signing Annual Return
- To note the April Income & Expenditure account
- To agree on how planning applications should be dealt with
- To receive update on Lengthsman’s contract
- To receive update on progress with Phoenix Meadow
- Next meeting: – Wednesday 26 June 2019 at 7.30pm in Walford Village Hall
- Confidential closed session – it was RESOLVED to ask the public to leave the room.
- It was RESOLVED to approve the Clerk’s request for annual leave dates. Three weeks had been requested totalling 36 hours.
The Clerk left the room before discussion took place on his pay increase
- It was RESOLVED to increase the Clerk’s salary.
The meeting closed at 21:05.