Minutes of Walford Parish Council Meeting
Held at Walford Village Hall
Wednesday 26 June 2019 at 7.30pm
Councillors: Monica van Lienden (Chair), Ian Matthews (Vice-Chair), Joanne Akers, Karen Chinn, Simeon Cole, Ruth Dolman, Eric Drummond, Heather Evans, Richard Jackson, Elizabeth Jordan, Sian Newbert, Bob Puzey and Guy Smith
In attendance: Richard Abolins (Clerk), Yolande Watson (Ward Councillor) and approximately 18 members of the public.
- Apologies – there were none.
- Declaration of interests – there were none.
- Adoption of Minutes of previous meeting
Councillor Jackson asked that item 18.1 be amended to add “subject to approval from Natural England”. Councillors Cole and Drummond disagreed saying that although it was discussed, verbal agreement had been given. However, the barriers were “re-instated” rather than “installed”. It was RESOLVED, subject to changing this word, to adopt the minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2019 as a true and accurate record. They were signed by the Chairman.
Public participation session
- Police Community Support Officer Simon Hall introduced himself and rather than giving a report asked for questions of community concern. If there was any suspicious activity, he asked that the public call 101. The Save the Neighbourhood team can be emailed on email@example.com
- The Ward Councillor outlined her activities which will be included in her July report. These included the Leys Hill junction, connectivity with neighbouring towns and a proposal for a Walford parish party.
- There were four comments from the public.
- A resident pointed out that the code of conduct required councillors to register their interests and was surprised that no-one had done so at the start of the meeting. Although declaration could not be enforced, serious breaches may be a criminal offence.
- A resident commented on temporary traffic signs being left at the roadside and becoming litter nuisances. Councillor Cole will deal with this.
- A resident pointed out that the Council’s Freedom of Information policies may be in need of updating.
- A resident asked if the agenda could include matters arising from the minutes – the answer was no – and if there was anything to report on the Waters Edge planning application – the answer was no.
- Walford Community Support Scheme
- The Community Support Co-ordinator presented her report – see attached.
- Councillor Chinn presented the annual report (see attached) and asked that the Council approve the document so that it could be sent to donors, both past and potential, and any other interested parties. It was RESOLVED to approve the report.
- New policies and procedures
- Code of Conduct – It was noted that the word “financial” had been omitted from the table on page 4. Subject to this correction, it was RESOLVED to adopt the new document.
- Standing Orders
References to Chairman should be changed to Chair throughout the document.
In paragraph 15 b xv, references to Neighbourhood Development Committee should be changed to Council.
Councillor Matthews proposed removing the phrase “shall be reported back and progressed by resolution of the Personnel Committee” in paragraphs 19d and 19e to “shall be dealt with in accordance with the grievance policy”. It was RESOLVED to accept these amendments.
Subject to these revisions, it was RESOLVED to adopt the new Standing Orders.
3 Financial Regulations
The footnotes on pages 2 and 3 didn’t refer to anything and needed to be removed.
The date in paragraph 3.4 should be changed from January to February.
Reference to Internet Banking policy in paragraph7.3 should be removed since it was now incorporated in the Regulations.
Subject to these amendments, it was RESOLVED to adopt the new document.
- Anti-bullying. Councillor Matthews questioned the need to have references to a Personnel Committee when it might not exist in the future. It was pointed out that if that were the case the policy could be amended. He wanted to avoid the need for that. In a vote, the Council did not agree this amendment. It was RESOLVED to adopt the new policy.
- Grievance procedure – It was RESOLVED to adopt the new policy.
- Disciplinary – It was RESOLVED to adopt the new policy.
- Equality – It was RESOLVED to adopt the new policy.
- Equal opportunities – It was RESOLVED to adopt the new policy.
5 Guidance for rules of debate – Councillor Matthews proposed the document to clarify Standing Orders. Councillor Chinn pointed out that the new Standing Orders were in much greater detail and questioned the need for an additional document. It was RESOLVED to accept the document as guidance.
6 Roles and responsibilities of councillors, chairperson and clerk – Councillor Matthews proposed that this guidance would help clarify the respective roles and responsibilities. It could be improved upon in time, but was a start. Councillor Cole asked for three amendments – correspondence should not be posted on the website (all correspondence is circulated to the Council), the Chairperson is not responsible for civic activities and the Clerk does not need to consult with the Vice-chair on the agenda. Subject to these amendments, it was RESOLVED to accept this guidance note.
- Having just been elected as Chair of the Finance Committee, Councillor Chinn did not have report other than to say that approval for a debit card for the Clerk had not been approved, because the Committee wanted additional controls in place.
- The Clerk wished to withdraw this item because no document had been presented for discussion. Councillor Matthews said he didn’t agree with giving the Committee delegated powers. After much discussion, it was agreed to defer this matter to another meeting.
- It was RESOLVED to approve the Internal Auditor’s report.
- Councillor Chinn pointed out that although it was a short document, the Clerk had put a lot of time into producing it and asked that this be minuted. It was RESOLVED to approve the Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 March 2019.
- It was RESOLVED to approve the Annual Governance and Accountability Return. It was signed by the Chair and the Clerk.
- Councillor Jackson asked that the request to authorise expenditure between meetings should come from the Resilience Co-ordinator only in cases of emergency. After much discussion of what constituted an emergency and whether these cases would apply to the Resilience Co-ordinator it was RESOLVED to delegate authority to the Clerk to authorise expenditure in an emergency up to £1,000 in between meetings.
- The Chair of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee reported that a meeting with Karla Johnson of Herefordshire Council was taking place on 10 July to bring the Committee up to date with where the Development plan sits. The Committee will meet on 16 July to follow up on this meeting.
- It was agreed to defer this matter to another meeting.
The time allotted for the meeting had expired. The Chair adjourned the meeting until Monday 8 July at 7.30 in Walford Village Hall.
SIGNED M van Lienden DATE 8 July 2019